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UNESCO grants medals to Cuba and to Cubans 

AfroCubaWeb reports that "Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï, Benin's Ambassador to UNESCO and Chairman of the UNESCO Executive Board, arrived in Cuba on 6/16/09 and attended a number of ceremonies. UNESCOAfCuba.jpgAt several of these, he gave out medals. We have numerous photos of the main ceremony, where the recipients are mostly people who have long been featured on AfroCubaWeb.

Ambassador Olabiyi Ya (second from left) poses with UNESCO award winners, Edmond Moukala, Lazaro Mora, Pedro Perez Sarduy and Gloria Rolando 

(Photo credit: 

"In his introductory remarks, [Ambassador Yai] stated the following:

" 'As Chairman of the Executive Board of UNESCO, I am pleased to honour you today with the following medals in recognition of your efforts to promote peace, equality, cultures values, and to fight all forms of discrimination and exclusion wreaked in particular on descendants of enslaved people. While Cuba has contributed significantly to the reinforcement of UNESCO's program and goals in you country and the region, little has been done to acknowledge your significant contribution. This awarding ceremony is therefore a symbolic gesture to a selected number of you as part of UNESCO's good intention to encourage you in your tireless efforts for peace, freedom and fundamental rights.' "

4:06 pm edt          Comments

The colonizers never left: reflections on President Obama's Africa speech

U.S. President Obama's trip to Ghana brought up deep emotions for Africans and African descendants in the Americas. The return to Africa by any African descendant is emotianal enough: but watching one of such internatinal standing return with the symbolic power of strength and courage, was especially inspiring.

Unfortunately, as some journalists have pointed out, the symbolism of Obama's return does not portend a true change in U.S. policy toward the continent:

"July 11, 2009, was a historic day for the United States and the African continent as the first African-American President, Barack Hussein Obama, traveled to Accra, Ghana and addressed the Ghanaian Parliament. President Obama's mere presence as the son of a Kenyan goat herder cum leader of the free world demonstrated a powerful symbolic shift in global politics," writes Aisha Brown in the Washington DC Progressive Examiner.

"...President Obama's speech to Africa, although imbued with hope, still reflected the same arrogance, blame shifting, and paternalism Western leaders have shown since the continent's independent nations began to emerge."

While Samah El-Shahat writes in her Al Jazeera commentary "Why Africa depends on handouts": "..when it comes to Africa cleaning up its own 'governance' issues - Obama will never get a contradictory whimper out of me.

"But it is the second offering - the gift that Obama brought to Ghana - which I take great exception to, because it casts a shadow over, in fact paralyses, talk of self-determination.

"People cannot achieve self-determination, if their most basic human right - food - is controlled and determined by others.

"Obama's gift was the $20 billion agreed last week for financing food security at the G8 L'Aquila meeting.

"...I agree with Obama that governance, democracy and good policies are crucial for Africa's renaissance. But unless America, and in particular northern countries, change their policies toward African agriculture, then the continent will always just get by, if that!

" 'Food security' will never lead to African food sovereignty and independence until Europe and America do something about their own agricultural subsidies, which they pour on their own farmers.

"These subsidies out-compete and ravage Africa's agriculture."

3:34 pm edt          Comments

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In partnership with:
LUNDU Center for Afro-Peruvian Advancement 



By Lisa Scott


Interviews with over 30 Jamaican immigrants on their pre-migratory perceptions of New York and England

 Click here to view and purchase the book.



by Miriam Jimenéz Román  (Editor), Juan Flores (Editor) 


The book focuses attention on a large, vibrant, yet oddly invisible community in the United States: people of African descent from Latin America and the Caribbean. The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans. At the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.

 Click here to view and purchase the book.



By Karen Juanita Carrillo



The proof of any group's importance to history is in the detail, a fact made plain by this informative book's day-by-day documentation of the impact of African Americans on life in the United States.  One of the easiest ways to grasp any aspect of history is to look at it as a continuum. African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events provides just such an opportunity.

 Click here to view and purchase the book.



by Karen Juanita Carrillo


The View from Chocó: The Afro-Colombian past, their lives in the present, and their hopes for the future is an introduction to the lives of Blacks in Colombia. Afro-Colombians live in a resource-rich yet remote region of Colombia. They only recently won recognition as one of that nation's distinct ethnic groups. But Colombia's on-going civil war has led many Afro-Colombians to reach even farther than their nation's borders for recognition: many have made their way to the United States as refugees and as political activists working for peace in their homeland. The View from Chocó introduces the lives and struggles of a too-long neglected community of Colombian Blacks. 

 Click here to view and purchase the book.





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